Aakash Chopra, former Indian opening batsman turned commentator shared his views on Australia’s possible tactics to stop run machine Indian skipper Virat Kohli from scoring a heap of runs in the upcoming series.
After the successful completion of the Indian Premier League 2020, all eyes are now set on the tour of Australia where Virat Kohli-led India will take on Australia in a full-fledged series consisting of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests.
Aakash Chopra: Virat Kohli Is Weak Outside Off- Stump And Australia May Capitalize On The Strategy
Virat Kohli will return early to India after the conclusion of the first Test in Adelaide while a few Indian cricketers like Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are nursing injuries and set to miss at least 2 of the 4 tests.
Former Australian batsmen and experts have shared views on how the hosts have an edge in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with Virat Kohli set to miss the final three Tests of the four-match series. Australian media are also seen reporting several articles which suggest ways of stopping the Indian captain from scoring bulk of runs Down Under.
Considering his run-scoring spree across formats as he averages above 50 in each international format, it’s difficult to find a weakness in his batting. However, it has been reported that bowling wide to him and unleashing a leg-spinner early are some of the tactics which can help restrict the Indian captain.
Speaking to timesnownews.com, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra said that while oppositions should come up with tactics to contain Virat Kohli, planning and executing those plans are two different things altogether.
The wide, full and leg-spin tactics:
“All these are not bad tactics and the fact is that if you are bowling against Kohli, you need some plans. But planning is one thing, execution of those plans is quite another. Also, we are talking about One-Day cricket here. As for Tests, he is just playing one match, which is still a month away.”
“But when you are looking at white-ball cricket, you can always plan bowling wide; but how wide can you bowl actually? If you are bowling too wide, it will be wide. If you are bowling within the stumps, he will be clipping you for boundaries, throughout.
“As a leg spinner, you will try, but this window of opportunity in a one-day contest or a T20 contest is very short. And if you don’t capitalize on it and you don’t dismiss Virat Kohli, then these plans won’t really matter; no matter how good the execution is,” Chopra said.
Kohli’s weakness outside the off-stump was exposed during India’s tour of England in 2014 – where the Delhi batsman witnessed one of the most forgettable tours of his career as he kept nicking deliveries from James Anderson and Stuart Broad towards the slip cordon. He scored only 134 runs averaging a pathetic 13.4 in that tour but since then except in Australia vs India in 2016-17, his average never dropped below 30 in a Test series above 3 Tests.
Aakash Chopra: First Test Match Only Will Witness Bowling Outside Off Stump As There Isn’t Considerable Time In Limited Overs
Virat Kohli bounced back in style to hammer 692 runs against Australia averaging 86.5 in 4 matches on their home soil on a tour which was scheduled just after the England tour in 2014.
Aakash Chopra went on to add that even if these tactics are to be executed, they can be done only in the opening Test which will be a day-night affair which Virat Kohli will be a part of as there is hardly any time to execute the same of bowling outside off stump in limited-overs cricket where batsmen are looking to score runs off almost every ball.
“In theory, all these things are fantastic. In Tests, you would go on with these tactics for a considerable amount of time. But when you talk about one-day and T20 cricket, there is hardly any time. A lot of time your response also depends on how the game is evolving. If India have got off to a flyer, then you’ll go defensive a little too soon. You won’t think of dismissing Kohli, you will only think of restricting him, ” said the commentator.
“Those things will matter but I see more of this in the first Test match – the day-night game at Adelaide. That is where you would actually do that. We don’t know(whether a leg spinner will bowl). Maybe just Nathan Lyon and three fast bowlers. We will cross that bridge when we come to it but for one-day and T20s, I think these are plans. It may succeed a couple of times. But it means in a six-match series comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, he will still score four times,” Chopra concluded.
Aakash Chopra questions whether any leg spinner will play at all as off-break spinner Nathan Lyon is likely to play alongside 3 pacers. Aakash Chopra feels that Australia can’t execute the tactics in ODIs or T20Is since there is the fear of balls being declared wide. Aakash Chopra reckons that since Virat Kohli will feature in only 1st Test, the negative strategy may be adopted in only the first Test match.